Bowman named SCAC Coach of the Year; Downing Offensive Player of the Year
LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – In an announcement made by the SCAC conference office, Southwestern men's lacrosse head coach Bill Bowman was named Coach of the Year and Tyler Downing Offensive Player of the Year for the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference.
Downing, a senior midfielder from Round Rock, Texas, led the SCAC in goals with 34 and was second in points with 41 and was named team MVP for his efforts. A three-time SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week during the 2014 season, he also led the league in man up goals with six. After four years in Georgetown, Downing will leave the Southwestern program as the school's second all-time leading scorer with 97 goals (fourth in SCAC history) and 20 assists for 117 points (ninth in SCAC history). Downing is also the Southwestern record holder in shots in a game (17), and faceoffs won in a game (12) and career (143).
Southwestern head coach Bill Bowman guided his Pirates to a 10-5 regular season mark, the first winning season in program history, and set a new SU record for most wins in a season. Bowman has been instrumental in building the Southwestern varsity program, serving as an assistant in 2010 and 2011, before taking over as head coach in 2012. The Pirates have improved incrementally each season under Bowman, winning five games in 2012 and seven in 2013 before this season's high-water mark of 10. Before the Southwestern program moved to varsity status in 2010, Bowman had already established a successful club level team on campus, amassing a 93-75 mark in 12 years which included a national ranking of ninth at the end of the 2009 season.
Downing is the first Player-of-the-Year honoree (Offensive or Defensive) and Bowman is the first Coach of the Year honoree from Southwestern since the SCAC began recognizing men's lacrosse as an official conference sport in 2010.
Joining Bowman and Downing in the announcement were four additional Pirates earning First Team All-SCAC slots and two earning Honorable Mention.
Carter Cowan, a senior attacker from Austin, Texas, earned his first All-SCAC selection in his final season. Cowan scored 16 goals this season, third most on the team, and added in ten assists, fourth most on the team, for 25 points.
Austin Fox, a junior attacker from Round Rock, Texas, posted his second consecutive All-SCAC selection after earning Newcomer of the Year last season to accompany an Honorable Mention pick. Fox led the Pirates with 19 assists and 47 points this year. His 28 goals was second to only Downing and posted an impressive .643 shots on goal percentage.
Senior midi Alex Michael, from Houston, Texas, gets his well-deserved first All-SCAC nod in his final season. Michael often set up the offense for the Pirates as evidenced by his 15 assists, second most on the team. He added in seven goals for 22 points.
Defensive powerhouse Daniel Ayala, a senior from Helotes, Texas, earns his second consecutive First Team All-SCAC selection. Ayala led the Pirates with 41 ground balls and caused a team high 27 turnovers while starting all 15 games.
Senior midi Jeremy Tufnell and junior defender Ross Warkentin both earned Honorable Mention spots for the Pirates. Tufnell and Warkentin each earned one SCAC Player of the Week nod this year. Warkentin was second on the team in caused turnovers with 23 and ground balls with 38. Tufnell scored 11 goals and assisted on six others for 17 points this season while collecting 11 ground balls.
Southwestern closed out the season with a 13-7 loss to Colorado College in the SCAC Championship. Their 10-5 record is a new Southwestern record for most wins in a season and highest win percentage by a team since the Pirates' inaugural season in 2010.